Masters of Pie, a London-based early stage technology firm specialising in virtual and augmented reality software for manufacturing and wider enterprise solutions, has secured £1.6 million funding led by venture capital firm Downing Ventures to accelerate product development and extend commercial partnerships.
The company’s ‘Radical’ technology platform uses a mix of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to allow industrial designers and production line experts to securely load their 3D data into a virtual meeting space, where they can remotely collaborate with colleagues in real-time. The first products launched by the firm feature a series of virtual reality updates and enhancements for computer-aided design (CAD), which is widely used across engineering and design industries (PLM). This will allow CAD designers to visualise their 3D models at full scale, using desktop VR headsets for the purposes of design review and production enhancement.
The company’s technology has already been adopted by Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company, Siemens, which has integrated the virtual reality software with its own CAD software NX, in response to customer demand from some of the world’s biggest automotive and aerospace manufacturers. Masters of Pie has also worked directly with international brands Ford and Volkswagen.
Supported by the £1.6 million funding from Downing, the Masters of Pie team will build on the existing technology by investing in further research and development and further integrating collaborative communication tools. The business is also planning to expand its development team through a number of key strategic hires, while investing further in its sales and marketing functions.
London-based Downing Ventures is one of the UK’s most prolific early stage investors and is part of the wider investment management business Downing LLP, which has over 30 years of experience and in excess of £1 billion of funds under management.
More about the technology
Masters of Pie has created a virtual environment that immerses the user in engineering and design processes, allowing them to visualise and interrogate a design drawing or model as though it were a real object in front of them. The natural user-interface created by virtual reality and augmented reality technology means that collaboration can move away from flat screens and inefficient conference calls and begin to reflect real-world interactions for a more cost-effective and productive experience.
Commenting on the funding and the next stage of growth for Masters of Pie, James Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures, said:“The virtual reality market presents an exciting investment opportunity for us as venture capital investors, with the emerging sector predicted to grow from $4 billion in 2016 to nearly $80 billion by 2021. The adoption of both virtual reality and augmented reality also looks set to increase as headsets become less expensive and computing power gets faster. “Masters of Pie is a great example of what this type of technology is capable of. While the underlying software is incredibly intricate, the end result makes life so much simpler for the user and allows CAD technology to be far more intuitive.”
Chief Executive Officer at Masters of Pie, Karl Maddix, added:“Having spent a number of years proving the technology, finding market traction and securing commercial partnerships, it is absolutely the right time now to focus on the rapid growth of the business. Downing has a deep understanding of how to build upon solid foundations to quickly scale up for market success. They share our vision and our passion and we are pleased to bring them on board at this key stage in our journey. “We are excited to be at the forefront of providing solutions to enterprise, currently focusing on the PLM sector but soon expanding to other industries, as they begin to leverage VR and AR and see the real value in a collaborative solution like Radical.”
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